Amid the concerns regarding rising number of Delta Plus COVID cases in India, the Centre on Tuesday said the variant has been detected in 86 samples in the country, including 34 in Maharashtra.
Elaborating on the matter during a routine press conference regarding COVID situation in India, NCDC Director Dr SK Singh said, the variants of concern that we monitor are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Delta Plus. There are two variants under investigation – Kappa and B1617.3.
We were doing two kinds of surveillance – to monitor variants of concern (coming from outside) and to monitor impact of Delta variant in country. Today, we need to look for new mutants because they can reach anywhere any time, he added.
He further explained that the World Health Organization (WHO) came out with a strategy that the sentinel sites need to be identified and representative samples from every district of every state be subjected to genome sequencing.
“WHO came out with a strategy that the sentinel sites need to be identified and representative samples from every district of every state be subjected to genome sequencing. It should be tested if there is any mutant that will cause a public impact in the time to come,” said Singh.
“Sentinel sites were affixed across the country and all states were asked to identify a minimum of 5 labs and 5 tertiary care hospitals and see if the sentinel sites represented samples of a representative district. Around 277 sentinel sites have been identified while 8,000 samples have been sent in July,” he added.
Singh also pointed out, like other states, 80% of cases in Kerala are Delta variant. SK Singh said, some districts indicated an increasing trend of positivity rate – Malappuram, Kozhikode, Pathanamthitta. 80% of cases were found to be positive for Delta variant, like other states.
(With inputs from agencies)
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